STEP UP TO STEWARDSHIP
The annual Per Capita giving, tucked into the middle of the budget on page 34 of the FPCPA 2017 Annual Report, can be a mystery for our new members and sometimes for our longstanding members as well. The Per Capita is one way each Presbyterian (PCUSA) church helps support the wider church—Presbytery, Synod, and General Assembly. It can be viewed as working like an insurance policy or even a co-op; together the churches contribute to the operating overhead of the church at all levels so that, in turn, the wider church can help individual congregations through various services and opportunities. The Per Capita funds support basic ministry operations for the Presbytery (80%), for the Synod (5%), and for the General Assembly (15%).
Here are some instances in which FPCPA has benefitted from the wider church: The Presbytery is aiding us in our transition period, liaising with our task force to select an interim, working with our Mission Study Team, and providing training for the Pastor Nominating Committee. The Synod provided a low-interest loan for our financial campaign for the recent renovation. General Assembly, years ago, provided a loan for another building project, and GA representatives came to the church to help direct the campaign. There are other times when we have had help from the larger church, help of which many of us have been unaware.
The Per Capita for each church is calculated based on the number of members. This year our Per Capita totals $11,044.67 based on 229 members. That works out to $48.23 per church member. We can make a significant impact on our 2018 budget if all members include the Per Capita in their giving—about $4 per month. Think how those funds originally budgeted for the Per Capita could then be used! This year, please consider including the Per Capita in your gifts to the church.
[Reprinted in part from the April 2015 Highlights]